December is just around the corner and so are all of the annual holiday festivities that come along with it. Whether you’re out shopping, taking part in holiday festivities, away visiting family in another city, or taking an extended vacation somewhere dry, it’s likely that your home could be unusually quiet during this time of the year.
No matter where you’re going or how long you plan to be gone for, the last thing you want to have on your mind is your home’s security. Here are a few easy tips and tricks to help ensure that your home remains safe and sound while you’re away.
Hide Your House Key
As convenient as it is, it’s important that you don’t leave your key outside. Give a copy to a family friend, coworker, or close neighbor if you plan on having someone check on your home while you’re away. Criminals know mane of the classic homeowner habits, like this one, and use it to their advantage to easily get into your home.
Don’t Let The Home Look Empty
If you have a paper service, it’s a good idea to ask your neighbor or whoever is looking after your house to clear away delivered newspapers and anything that might signify to anyone passing by that you haven’t been home in a few days.
Programmable plug-ins work great for turning lights on and off when it’s dark, and can give the impression to someone outside that people are home. You could even go as far as to plug in a radio or TV too. Leave some of your blinds open to let this ‘evidence’ of your presence be seen from the street.
The best practice of all is to not make it look like you’re going away. It’s a good idea to keep your precautions discrete and out of sight. Things like reinforcing your door with a door jam or deadbolt and reinforce widows with pins. Another great idea is to just have a security system sticker somewhere that it can be easily seen, even if you don’t really have one. It just might make a thief second-guess their decision to rob your house and move along elsewhere.
Don’t Broadcast Your Absence Online & Watch Your Hashtags
Who doesn’t love to boast about taking a vacation? You work hard and you deserve it! Just take caution with your social media profiles when you’re going away; more and more criminals are going online to see when people are on #vacation to help them find vacant homes. Anyone who searches for the hashtag, “#vacation”, will be able to find posts that include this hashtag. They can then search your other social media profiles to piece together other bits of information like where you live, what you drive (in case it’s parked out front), and how you’ll be gone for to help determine which house is yours.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t tweet or change your status; just have an awareness of who your audience is when you’re doing so. It never hurts to do a quick check of your privacy settings to make sure that you’re comfortable with everything every now and then.
When you’re away from your home, the last thing that you want to wonder about is if your home is okay. If you’re going on vacation, try some of these simple home security suggestions so that you can have peace of mind no matter where you are this holiday season. If you’re ever worried about home security, feel free to send me a message and I’ll be happy to refer you to some of our favorite local home security experts. I’ll also be happy to meet with you to discuss your options, and help you find a neighborhood that’s better suited to your lifestyle.